Straight Talk - “Eight NCH Superstars”

November 10, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Eight NCH Superstars held center stage at our recent employee recognition banquet, where we recognized colleagues with NCH Healthcare System for between five and 40 years, as well as 17 recent retirees.

Our Superstar award winners, selected by Superstar Chairperson RN Linda Roeback and her fine committee, displayed extraordinary acts of kindness, over and above what anyone might expect.

• Overall winners were oncology RNs Luann Laux and Sherry Nigro, who cared for a 56-year-old mother, suffering from terminal cancer, and coped with a family hoping for the best. The devastating news that time was short was shared with the family two weeks before Christmas. With one daughter impelled to return north to work or lose her job, the family was emotionally torn—confronting the prospect of missing a last Christmas with Mom. But Luann and Sherry wouldn’t hear of it. The two nurses collected gifts they received from “Secret Santa” parties, bought additional presents at a local department store, and presented the bounty to the family in an early Christmas celebration in the patient’s room, complete with a mini-tree. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house; tears of joy overwhelmed the family. The next day, a sad but thankful daughter left Naples to return to work. And the following day, the mother lost her battle with cancer. Her family was thankful that Superstars Luann Laux and Sherry Nigro were with them.
• When RN Vickie Batcher cared for a high school senior on the Psychiatry Unit, she found the patient despondent that she would miss her graduation ceremony. So Vickie ordered a cake, created banners, and held a graduation celebration on the unit that the young patient may never forget.
• Radiology Technologist Scott Bauer sprung into action when he observed a woman walking in the hallway, suddenly gasping for breath and then collapsing. Scott began resuscitation and called a Code Blue (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to save the patient. A week after the patient was transferred to the ICU, three of her daughters came by Radiology to thank Scott for saving their mom. It was the second time Scott had been responsible for helping save someone’s life.
• Similarly, Environmental Service colleague Rebecca Clayton was cleaning in a semi-private room, when a patient started choking. Rebecca helped quickly and was then assisted by RN Amy Yates. Later, out of harm’s way, the patient commended Rebecca for her critical help.
Diana Decko, Clinical Technician in Express Admit in North Naples Hospital, came to the aid of a fellow employee suffering a severe headache and vomiting. Diana insisted the employee go to the ER, where she was diagnosed with a serious medical condition requiring transfer to a specialist. If the patient had not listened to Diana, she might have died.
• Respiratory Therapist Mishanda Seawright served in Haiti for a week, providing needed care to all-but-forgotten Haiti earthquake victims. Her skill and help was invaluable.
• North Naples ICU RN Sue Wittman spent 16 hours with a bereaved extended family suffering the loss of a loved one. Sue and colleagues provided the kind of palliative care of which NCH is so proud.

There you have it—eight NCH Superstars, whose compassion, competence and creativity, not to mention concern and common sense, have made real differences in the lives of patients and families alike. Congratulations, one and all.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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